Modi 3.0: Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal Among 6 Ministers From Maharashtra In PM Narendra Modi’s Cabinet; NCP Rejects MoS Offer

Mumbai: Six MPs from Maharashtra have been inducted into the Modi 3.0 coalition government, with the BJP securing four berths and allies Shiv Sena and RPI (A) getting one each.

Notably, the NCP led by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar declined the BJP’s offer of Minister of State (MoS) with independent charge, insisting on a cabinet berth for Praful Patel.

State Strength Down By 2

There were eight ministers from Maharashtra, belonging to the BJP and its allies, in the second term of the Modi government in 2019-24. The number came down to six on Sunday.

In the new government, BJP MPs Nitin Gadkari and Piyush Goyal were retained as cabinet ministers.

Raksha Khadse, BJP’s lone woman MP from Maharashtra, and first-time MP Murlidhar Mohol were sworn in as Ministers of State.

Among BJP’s allies, RPI (A) chief Ramdas Athawale was retained as an MoS with independent charge, and Prataprao Jadhav, from the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, also took oath as an MoS with independent charge.

The NCP led by Ajit Pawar refused the MoS offer, demanding a cabinet berth for Rajya Sabha member Praful Patel due to his experience.

NCP Would Be Considered In Future Cabinet Expansions: Fadnavis

Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said coalition formulas must be respected, assuring the NCP would be considered in future cabinet expansions.

“We had offered one berth of minister with independent charge to the NCP but they wanted Praful Patel’s name to be finalised. Due to his experience, the NCP believed he could not be made MoS with independent charge,” Fadnavis said.

In a coalition government, a formula has to be drawn, which cannot be broken for one party, he said.

“I can confidently say whenever cabinet expansion takes place, the government will consider the NCP. We did try to include NCP right now, but they insisted on cabinet portfolio,” the senior BJP leader said.

Ajit Pawar Says, ‘Ready To Wait For Cabinet Berth’

Speaking to reporters in Delhi, Ajit Pawar asserted the NCP “was ready to wait” but wanted a cabinet berth.

The eight ministers from Maharashtra who were part of the Modi-led government from 2019-24 included Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Narayan Rane, Bhagwat Karad, Raosaheb Danve, Bharti Pawar and Kapil Patil- all from BJP, and Ramdas Athawale of the RPI (A).

In the recently held Lok Sabha elections, the BJP fared poorly in Maharashtra as it could win only nine seats, compared to the 2019 tally of 23 out of the total 48 constituencies in the state. The Shiv Sena led by Shinde bagged seven seats and Ajit Pawar-led NCP just one.

Gadkari, Goyal, Khadse and Mohol won from Nagpur, Mumbai North, Raver and Pune Lok Sabha constituencies, respectively, in the recent elections.

Notably, the BJP did not re-induct Narayan Rane in the Union cabinet though he won from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg Lok Sabha seat.

Three other BJP ministers – Raosaheb Danve, Bharati Pawar, and Kapil Patil- in the previous government lost the elections this time.

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